15 Reasons Why Menopause Symptoms Suck Arse!
Unfortunately, there is no escaping it... Menopause is a normal condition that all women go through... and it sucks. People assume it is quick but the perimenopause can occur over an 8-10 year period (Excuse the pun). Menopause forces a woman's body through a massive hormonal change which hasn't been seen since puberty and it can be a rough ride. Heres what to expect and what you can do about it.
Obviously hot flushes are one of the menopause symptoms that everyone recognises, but you may not know that they can be different for every woman. Some even experience them for decades, starting in perimenopause. Caused by a drop in Oestrogen levels, which affects the gland that regulates body temperature, hot flushes can happen during the day or at night—or both. They can be mild, lasting seconds, or severe and stick around for a half hour or longer.
How To Treat Menopause Hot Flushes:
If your hot flushes are unmanageable then the most effective treatment is hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which usually completely gets rid of them. Your doctor can talk to you about the benefits and risks of using HRT. Alternatively vitamin E supplements, some antidepressants, and a drug called Gabapentin, which is usually used to treat seizures can be recommended by your GP.
Hurty Wurty Boobie Woobies
Those pesky hormonal fluctuations can cause cyclical breast tenderness (ranging from bothersome to unbearable) even when Aunty Flo isn’t due for a visit! What’s more, since perimenopause causes irregular cycles, it’s nearly impossible to know when your breasts are going to begin throbbing, according to the National Cancer Institute. Your breasts may also feel “more lumpy” than they did before, notes Ellen Dolgen, Menopause Mondays blogger and author of the free eBook, The Girlfriend’s Guide to Surviving and Thriving During Perimenopause and Menopause.
How To Treat Menopause Sore Breasts:
You should talk to your doctor about whether medication could help relieve your breast pain. Consider using over the counter pain relief like ibuprofen. Some women also use natural remedies, such as vitamins, for relief. Popular options include:
- B Vitamins
- Vitamin E
- Evening primrose oil contains omega-6 fatty acids that may help with breast pain
- Omega-3 fatty acids, like flax seed oil or fish oil supplements.
Bruising Out Of Nowhere
How To Treat Menopause Bruises:
Well... excluding not banging into stuff like a lumbering ape there isn't a lot you can do. Witch hazel is an age old remedy that does tend to dissolve bruises quicker than just leaving them and some people recommend eating Papaya as it has Papain in it which is believed to help break up the dead material that is responsible for bruising.
Strangely, excessive tearing is a sign that your eyes are desperately trying to make up for a lack of moisture. And you can thank plummeting hormones for those “Cheech and Chong”–style eyes, Dolgen says. Hormones affect the ocular tissues and the composition of tears your eyes produce, resulting in excessively dry eyes and changes in vision (going from near-sighted to far-sighted, for example).
How To Treat Menopause Dry Eyes:
Several over-the-counter (OTC) medications are available to treat chronic dry eye problems. In most cases, artificial tears will be enough to ease your symptoms. When choosing among the many eye drops on the market, keep in mind the following:
- Drops with preservatives can irritate your eyes if you use them too much.
- Drops without preservatives are safe to use more than four times per day. They come in single-serving droppers.
- Lubricating ointments and gels provide a long-lasting thick coating, but they can cloud your vision.
- Drops that reduce redness can be irritating if used too often.
Don’t be surprised if your tweezers become your new best friend, Dolgen says. For the lucky 15 percent of women, “super human” hair on your chin, upper lip, or cheeks is an all-too-common symptom of perimenopause, according to the North American Menopause Society.While Menopause can be associated with facial hair due to the hormonal changes, some medications (and certain hormone replacement products) may also cause a certain degree of facial hair.And, perhaps what’s worse, the hair on your head may become thin, dry, or brittle.
How To Treat Menopause Hair Growth:
Pluck, pluck, pluck your face and condition the hell out of your hair!
The sudden speeding-up or irregularity of your heart rate is a common but one of those menopause symptoms that is not often talked about. Studies show that epinephrine and norepinephrine, the neurotransmitters that regulate heart rate and blood pressure, tend to fluctuate in menopausal women, David Portman, MD, a gynecologist and director of the Columbus Center for Women’s Health Research in Ohio, told everydayhealth.com.
How To Treat Menopause Heart Palpitations:
Regular aerobic exercises are important for keeping your heart strong and healthy. Walking and swimming are particularly effective as they work all of your muscles but do not negatively impact your joint health.Eating a healthy balanced diet will keep your body fit and well. If you are strong then your chances of being able to skim through the menopause without experiencing symptoms are higher. It is important to keep drinking plenty of water. This will keep you hydrated and prevent the effects of changes in artery dilations from becoming prominent.
Stress is one of the greatest contributors towards abnormalities in heart rhythm. Taking time each day to relax will lessen the symptoms of an irregular heartbeat. Stress can also result in other health problems, so it is important to tackle this problem.
Expect to pee a little when you do jumping jacks or leak a bit when you cough or sneeze! Gotta hurry up and go right now? It’s likely due to stress urinary incontinence (SUI) or urge urinary incontinence (UUI—both common during “the change.” Lower estrogen levels cause the lining of the urethra to thin, says JoAnn V. Pinkerton, MD, executive director of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). Weakened pelvic floor muscles, often a result of a vaginal childbirth, are also to blame.
How To Treat Menopause Incontinence:
Your treatment for UI depends on several factors, including the type of incontinence you’re experiencing and what is causing your UI. Your GP might start by suggesting lifestyle changes. For example, they might encourage you to:
- Cut back on your caffeine and alcohol consumption.
- Gradually retrain your bladder to hold more urine by only urinating at certain pre-planned times of the day.
- Lose weight to reduce the pressure on your bladder and muscles.
- Use Kegel exercises, or pelvic floor exercises, to strengthen your pelvic muscles.
You're Gonna Become Stinky McStinkface
Of course, the excessive sweating that accompanies night sweats and hot flushes can create an unpleasant smell. But there’s another explanation, too: A drop in Estrogen levels tricks your hypothalamus gland into thinking you’re overheated, signalling your body to sweat more.
How To Treat Menopause Body Odour:
Bathe every day, this will remove bacteria from your skin.Wear looser fitting clothes during menopause and stay away from synthetic fabrics.Consume less meat, onions, garlic, coffee and alcohol, as these foods can increase body odour.Try drinking less coffee and eating less spicy food, dress in layers, always have water with you.Sweating is a big deal during menopause, those hot flushes are fast and furious.At night try wearing cotton pyjamas and use cotton sheets.And if the worst comes to the worst, stick your head in the freezer!
Less oestrogen equals acne and dry and thinning skin for many women in entering menopause, which Dr. Pinkerton likens to “reverse puberty.” It’s also common to experience flare-ups or new cases of allergies and eczema during this time, adds Dolgen, whose swears by coconut oil for softer skin and smaller pores.
How To Treat Menopause Dry Skin:
HRT is a popular course of treatment for treating many of the symptoms of menopause, including itchy skin. HRT does carry with it some health risks and side effects. Risks and side effects may include:
- Breast swelling
- Skin discolouration
- Increased risk of gallstones
- Urinary incontinence
- Vaginal spotting or bleeding
- Increased risk of breast and uterine cancer
HRT may also carry a small increased risk for heart disease, although studies are conflicting. Talk with your doctor. They can help you decide if HRT is a good choice for you based on your heart health and medical history.
Some menopause symptoms are less frequent that others and Migraines may start for the first time, or worsen, when you start going through menopause because of new hormonal fluctuations, says Dr. Pinkerton. The good news, however, is that hormonal migraines usually stop or vastly improve after menopause, when levels are consistently low. In fact, only 5 percent of women suffer migraines after age 60, according to the Migraine Research Foundation.
How To Treat Menopause Migraines:
Sometimes a few simple lifestyle changes can help:
- Keep a diary of what you eat, and try to avoid foods that trigger your migraines. Some of these may include: aged cheese, chocolate, or artificial sweeteners.
- Eat meals at regular times.
- Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day.
- Cut stress using relaxation methods such as deep breathing, exercise, or massage.
Sex-stifling vaginal dryness was one of the most difficult symptoms for Dolgen. “Your vagina takes a trip to the desert and takes your eyes and skin along with it,” she says. Lower Estrogen levels cause thinner, drier and less-elastic vaginal tissue and decrease blood flow to the area. The result: vaginal dryness, itching, and painful sex.
How To Treat Menopause Vaginal Dryness:
The main treatments that can help if you have a dry vagina are:
- Vaginal moisturisers
- Vaginal estrogen
- Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
Whether you call it meno-pot, meno-pudge, or middle-age spread, extra fat in the abdominal region is a reality for many women in perimenopause. “A woman’s weight throughout her menopausal journey is impacted by five factors: hormones, diet, exercise, stress, and genetics,” Dolgen explains. Plus you can also lose muscle mass—0.6 percent per year or more if you’re not physically active and don’t get enough protein, Dr. Pinkerton adds.
How To Treat Menopause Weight Gain:
Same as always I'm afraid. Eat a healthy diet and exercise. If you want to change your shape then focus on core exercises.
Is your period shorter and lighter one month and heavy with cramping the next? This is part of perimenopause, explains Pinkerton. In addition to being a nuisance, irregular periods also up your pregnancy risk. “The second highest unintended pregnancy time for women is during your 40s,” Dr. Pinkerton says. “And pregnancy remains a risk until you haven’t had a period for a year.”
How To Treat Menopause Irregular Periods:
It is important to remember that irregular periods are one of the more normal menopause symptoms in the lead up to your periods eventually stopping. However, there are some home remedies which could offer you some relief from the symptom.
Your diet is important for maintaining your general health and wellbeing. It has been shown that a diet lacking in fruit and vegetables but filled with refined sugar and caffeine does not provide essential nutrients and vitamins for the body. This can exacerbate your problem.
Extra stress may play a role in making your periods irregular. It is important to minimise stress as much as possible by taking time to relax. Making sure that you get enough restful sleep will help reduce stress and the impact it has on your cycle.Smoking can also negatively impact your health. You may find that cutting down the number of cigarettes you smoke each day or stopping altogether can ease many menopause symptoms as well as allowing your general health to improve.
The less Oestrogen your ovaries produce, the more bone loss may accelerate. This can put you at a greater risk for osteoporosis, or bone thinning, which increases your risk of fracture. “You can lose up to 20 percent of your bones during the first five years of menopause,” Dr. Pinkerton says.
How To Treat Menopause Bone Loss:
Experiencing menopause symptoms is a good time to take stock and adopt a healthier, bone-friendly lifestyle. You could also try doing:
- Stay active with weight bearing and resistance exercises
- Eat a healthy balanced diet
- Get out into the sun
- Drink sensibly and don't smoke
Hormonal changes—along with premenopausal symptoms like mood swings and sleep problems—may make you more forgetful and less focused. Stress also plays a role. “It’s hard to relax, especially when you’re going through the trials of perimenopause,” Dolgen says, “but it’s important for your mind and body to decompress.”
How To Treat Menopause Fuzzy Brain:
In many women, menopause “brain fog” may be mild and go away on its own with time. More severe memory issues may cause you to neglect your personal hygiene, forget the name of familiar objects, or have difficulty following directions.Once your doctor has ruled out other issues, like dementia, you may explore menopausal hormone therapy (MHT). This treatment involves taking either low-dose Oestrogen or a combination of Oestrogen and progestin. These hormones may help with the many symptoms you experience during menopause, not just memory loss.Long-term use of Oestrogen may increase your risk of breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other health issues. Speak with your doctor about the benefits versus the risks of this type of treatment.
Whilst we obviously recommend that you speak with your GP before taking any food supplements, a lot of women who are experiencing menopause symptoms choose to supplement their diet with Evening Primrose Oil Capsules. The Eureka Evening Primrose Oil Capsules are made from the highest quality ingredients in GMP compliant facilities so you can be sure that you are only getting the best of the best :)
Our 1000mg Evening Primrose Oil + Vitamin E capsules contain premium quality Cold Pressed Evening Primrose Oil which contains around 9% GLA fatty acids. On average, each capsule provides 90mg of GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid).